Walmart introduced next-day service just weeks after Amazon said it would spend $800 million to reduce delivery times for its millions of Prime customers to one day from two.

(Bloomberg)—Walmart Inc. is expanding its next-day delivery service to more than a dozen new states as the world’s biggest retailer girds up to battle Amazon.com Inc. for back-to-school shoppers.

The offer, which debuted in May for customers in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California, is now available in the South and Midwest, including in parts of Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin, according to researcher Marketplace Pulse and Walmart’s website. Walmart has already said it plans to reach about three-quarters of the U.S. by the end of the year.

Walmart representatives were not immediately available to comment.

Walmart introduced next-day service just weeks after Amazon said it would spend $800 million to reduce delivery times for its millions of Prime customers to one day from two. Walmart countered by arguing the shift will actually cost the company less than the two-day shipping it had guaranteed on purchases of at least $35, since the items will typically come in just one box from a single warehouse that’s closest to the customer.

“Amazon has a larger catalog and thus can deliver more products next-day, but Walmart refuses to lag behind,” said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of Marketplace Pulse. “They are on a mission to make Walmart as good as Amazon without paying for a Prime membership.”

advertisement

Keeping a tight lid on expenses is paramount for Walmart, whose domestic ecommerce business isn’t profitable. The U.S. digital operation is forecast to lose more this year than it did in 2018.

Walmart is No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 500.

Favorite